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Full text of "NightRider"

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falling over the objects there and casting shadows, as in the

real world, with distances and depths like the real world, and

recesses more secret and fascinating.    Sometimes, pressing

Ms forehead into the wooden frame until it ached, he had

felt that if he could just break through into that little world

where everything was motionless but seemed about to move,

where everything was living, it seemed, but at the same time

frozen in its tiny perfections,  he would know the most

unutterable bliss.   Then, slowly, he would take the frame

from his eyes and remove the card from the clamps.   He

would inspect it:  the flat, dull, fading picture printed in

duplicate, the frayed, yellow edges of the cardboard.   No

life would be there, no depth.   That card which he held in

his hand, then, would be a part of the ordinary world in

which he was living.    He would look about him at the

familiar furniture of the room; at the fire failing now in the

grate, perhaps; at the pattern of the carpet on which he lay.

There would be the slow, somnolent, saddening sound of

water murmuring and chinking in the gutters, or the sound

of wind finding the corners of the house and the recesses of

the eaves.   Soon, they would come and get him and make

him eat his supper, even if he wasn't hungry, and then they

would put Mm to bed.   The stereopticon cards would be left

stacked in a neat pile on the table in the deserted living-room.

That was the way it had been.   He had taken the card from

beMnd the lenses, and there was only the flat card which he

held in his hand.   He looked toward the lighted window,

where May was now, and thought of that, and how he had

felt when he was a child.

But she had not changed. She was as she had always been.
Whatever change there wasand there was a change, she
was right when she accused Mmwas in Mm. He knew that.
He had known it first that day when he had refused to
promise to send a negro up to prepare the flower beds for her.
He thought of how she had moved away from Mm down the
path, how her small shoulders had drawn together in the
contortion of a silent sob, and how he had stared down at